Get Tough And
This exercise programme offers the perfect support for weight loss and it's a dynamic alternative to the gym. It can be really fun too but, best of all, you have to take orders from your very own sergeant major — well instructor — but we can dream.
And if that didn't grab your attention, this might. British Military Fitness claims that you burn, on average, a whopping "640 calories per session" and this increases the more you train. That's impressive. Though be warned, this is not for the faint-hearted. The classes are aimed at all levels of fitness but everyone will be pushed to their personal edge. But then "no pain, no gain" as they say.
There are now a number of companies running military fitness classes across Britain. Many are region or city based, but the largest, British Military Fitness, is national; every night of the week there are classes taking place in parks, up and down the country.
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Even when a diet has been successful and optimal weight is achieved, keeping it off can be an uphill struggle. Half the battle of losing weight and staying that way is finding enjoyment in healthier eating habits and following an exercise regime you want to stick to. This is about making long-term changes not finding temporary solutions. So military discipline could be the perfect fitness fix.
What happens during a military fitness session
Classes are designed to improve personal stamina, speed, agility and strength. There is no typical session and that's the beauty of it. Training takes place with a mixed group of men and women so it's sociable as well as physical. Sessions diversify to focus on different parts of the body though each class contains the following elements: a warm-up, a central part (the tough bit) — with circuit type games and exercises done solo, in pairs and in small teams — and a cool down and stretch.
Some companies also offer running clubs alongside classes, which is a great solution for anyone who doesn't enjoy running alone and needs pushing to increase stamina. Fitness levels improve quicker in a club because you run in a group, pushing each other to keep going.
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What you need for a class
A positive outlook, determination to see the sessions through and a decent pair of outdoor running shoes are the only things you need to take part. Any sportswear you feel comfortable in is fine too and don't forget the water — making sure you are hydrated before the session is key.
What are the extra benefits
- You're all in it together — training in a group builds team working skills and you'll make friends
- It's flexible — you can attend once a week or every day; it's up to you depending on your personal fitness goals.
British Military Fitness lists the following positive effects of exercising outdoors on its website:
- Greater feelings of revitalisation and wellbeing
- Increased energy and positive engagement
- Decreased tension, confusion, anger and depression
- Improved enjoyment and satisfaction
- An increased likelihood of repeating the activity on a regular basis
Where to join in
Look for a class near your home. Prices are reasonable if you want to practise regularly. British Military Fitness runs sessions at locations across the country and they will let you try your first class for free.